Avoid Overpaying for Software Development With These Strategies

Most businesses with software development have to spend a lot of money on software development. Instead of building apps on a budget as it was originally intended, they spend thousands of dollars on services and technologies they might not even need.

There are many possible root causes of overpaying, such as hiring the wrong people or simply falling victim to a lopsided supply-and-demand industry. But despite these ever-present variables, you have significant control over how your software development projects go – which means you can avoid paying more for them by following these strategies.

start with a plan

Everything starts with a plan. If you’re planning on building an app or a new platform, you should only have a rough idea of ​​what that platform is going to look like. Too many entrepreneurs enter the world of software development with only a vague, abstract concept in mind. They think they can hash out all the details later in the middle of development.

But this presents two major problems. First, it means they won’t be able to collect accurate bids or pricing estimates because they still don’t know exactly what they want. Second, it means they are more liable to facilitate later scope creep, which can significantly increase the final cost of the project.

The solution is to plan out as many details as possible for your platform, delve into the technical requirements so you can talk to your developers about exactly what you want.

hire the right team

Hiring the right software developer makes a big difference. There are many routes you can take here. No matter which path you choose, you need to consider the following qualities:

  • Agility. Agile development methodologies are thinner, more efficient, and more flexible than competing methodologies. Prefer a software developer who specializes in agile development and make sure the team is dynamic enough to change things when necessary.
  • skills. You also have to ensure that the people on this team are sufficiently skilled and experienced. Do they have knowledge and familiarity with the programming language you want to use and the type of software you want to build?
  • Evidence of credit/work. Don’t scam. Make sure you verify your software developer’s credentials; Do they have examples of their passwords to show off their expertise?
  • Communications. In my experience, most software development hiccups and delays are caused by miscommunication. If you find a software developer with excellent communication habits, and you follow best communication practices, the number of miscommunication you experience will decrease.
  • price ceiling. Finally, consider pricing. Get project estimates from several different developers to make sure the provider you choose is at a reasonable price. Don’t go with the cheapest option by default, as you often get what you pay for, but shop around and weed out agencies and freelancers who intentionally charge more.


Consider negotiating before accepting any arrangement. Sometimes, all it takes is a polite request to get a lower price. Even in the worst case, you may be able to reduce the cost of the project by making some sacrifices and compromises.

range scope creep

I’ve seen the profitability of many software development projects immediately jeopardized because of scope creep. Scope creep essentially occurs when the project scope gradually increases throughout the project. This is often the case with entrepreneurs, as they keep thinking of new ideas and new directions.

There’s nothing wrong with being flexible and adaptable, but if you keep adding new requirements and changing your mind in the initial direction, your developers will have to work countless extra hours to accommodate those requests. And if they’re charging by the hour, that means a lot more bills for you at the end of the arrangement.

Establish practices to prevent miscommunication

Both the cost of the project and the time taken to complete it will be negatively affected by miscommunication. If you misinterpret something, or if your developer misinterprets your request, you can unnecessarily spend dozens of billable hours making mistakes and then fixing them.

It is therefore important to establish practices to prevent miscommunication, such as:

  • to be active Preventing mistakes is much more efficient than trying to fix them. Always be proactive with your communication and try to acknowledge potential issues before they develop.
  • Be organized. If you provide them with shotgun blasts of scrambled information, your developer will not be able to effectively build your software; Keep things organized and tidy so that it is easy to understand.
  • Be consistent. do not be lazy; It’s important to be consistent about what you want and how you want it. It doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind, but it does mean that you should strive for decisiveness,
  • Touch the base from time to time. trust but verify. To make sure all your instructions are clear, contact your developer, evaluate the work currently done, and proactively acknowledge any potential problems.

Software development is not cheap. And understandable. But there’s no reason to pay more for software development than you need to pay, especially when many of the reasons for spending more in this area are due to preventable issues.

Pay close attention to your project from start to finish, and stay on top of these potentially problematic areas.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.